Diedrick Brackens’s New Exhibition Mythologizes Blackness and Queerness

“Diedrick Brackens: darling divined,” 2019. Courtesy of New Museum/New York.

Photograph by Dario Lasagni.

In this interview for Texas Monthly, Doyin Oyeniyi spoke with visual artist and Texas native Diedrick Brackens to discuss his new exhibit, darling divined, which is currently up at the Blanton Museum. Many of Brackens’s art pieces come in the form of woven tapestries which are a mix of cotton and acrylic, with both form and content documenting the intimate histories of his loved ones and their lives. From the stories of his grandmother picking cotton as a child, to the Biblical references Brackens has titled some of his pieces, his weavings speak to themes of both intimacy and ritual in the lives of Black people he knows and loves.

“A lot of my interest in creating this show was about longing to be with one another. Typically, a lot of the works are about these kinds of pairs. One figure with another. There’s a lot of hints of romantic love, but also just tenderness between two figures and/or this kind of suspension of violence between figures. But there’s a lot of ideas around it, of achieving feeling.” - Diedrick Brackens